The Garage 59 team is ready to take on its biggest challenge yet this weekend. The 2020 ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen (N24) at the Nürburgring Nordschleife is one of the toughest races in the world, where the team and the car will be tested to the maximum.
The team debuted the new Aston Martin Vantage GT8R at the fifth round of the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) last month and finished the six-hour race in second place in the SP8T class. Preparation has been thorough and the team is now ready for the 24-hour race, as Chris Goodwin explains:
“This is the biggest test yet of the Garage 59 team,” said Goodwin. “We entered two NLS races to tune our Vantage to the particular requirements of the Nordschleife but also to prepare the team itself. The 24-hour race is a massive challenge but this team has great experience in other forms of GT endurance racing so we knew they were up to the challenge. Second place at the six-hour race here last month confirms that.”
Alexander West and Chris Goodwin will be joined by Aston Martin works drivers, Darren Turner and Jonny Adam, at the Nordschleife, providing the team with a strong squad of drivers across the board. Both Turner and Adam are multiple Le Mans winners with Adam’s second win coming just last weekend in the GTE Am class for Aston Martin Racing.
“We’ve got the perfect line-up for this event,” continued Goodwin. “All four drivers come with a huge amount of 24-hour racing experience and one direct from the top step of the podium at Le Mans last weekend. Alex has done some great racing at the Nordschleife this year and Darren and I actually competed together in a factory-run Vantage GT4 at last year’s race so we all know what lies ahead of us. I’m looking forward to the race as it is the most gruelling and hardcore of all the 24s in my experience. I feel the team is ready and the car has progressed a huge amount in a short period of time.”
The number of cars on the grid for this year’s race is down on previous years due to the Covid-19 restrictions but there are still over 100 cars entered alongside the Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT8R, which will run with race number 59. It has also just been announced that the organisers have found a safe way for up to 20,000 fans to access the event so the unique atmosphere of N24 will continue to thrive.
Aston Martin works driver, Darren Turner, has competed in multiple 24-hour races at the Nürburgring Nordschleife and says that the ‘Green Hell’ is one of his favourite places on earth.
“The 24-hour race at the Nürburgring is probably my favourite race in terms of pure enjoyment,” said Turner. “When you start each lap you never know what is going to happen. With so many cars and such a challenging circuit, it’s a unique adventure each time round. We often get thrown a curveball by the weather and with the circuit covering such a large area it is pretty common to have glorious sunshine at one end and torrential rain at the other so this also adds to the challenge.
“The Vantage GT8R is a great addition to the Aston Martin Racing stable,” he continued. “I have hugely enjoyed racing and helping to develop the Vantage GTE, GT3 and GT4, and the GT8R sits really well between the GT3 and the GT4 in terms of performance. The car is particularly well suited to the Nürburgring and it is a joy to race it there. We’ve been able to use the extra levels of downforce that the car creates to find a good performance gain and the extra engine performance is something that every driver asks for so we are a happy crew going into this weekend.”
The 2020 ADAC TOTAL 24h-Rennen gets underway on Saturday 26 September at 15:30 local time (14:30 BST).